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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 137  

Don't shoot the messenger

Department of Microbiology, Dr D Y Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr D Y Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission03-Dec-2021
Date of Decision12-Mar-2022
Date of Acceptance14-Mar-2022
Date of Web Publication10-May-2022

Correspondence Address:
Rajashri Patil
Flat No 402, G Wing, Richwood Society, Sector 11, Spine Road, Chikhli Pradhikaran, Pimpri, Pune - 411 019, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_957_21

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How to cite this article:
Das NK, Patil R, Mirza S, Khan S. Don't shoot the messenger. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2023;16:137

How to cite this URL:
Das NK, Patil R, Mirza S, Khan S. Don't shoot the messenger. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 Mar 24];16:137. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2023/16/1/137/345007

The coronavirus pandemic which has already taken a toll around the world is now being taken over by the new variant. The Omicron variant reported from South Africa has created quite a stir in the world, prompting governments to take some radical approaches like mulling over the cancellation of flights from the countries which reported this variant.[1] Within a week, more than a dozen countries have reported the same variant, with cases confirmed from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.[2] In all likelihood, this variant may already have been present in many places and South Africa may not actually be the origin of this variant. Just that they detected it first with their robust genetic scrutiny. They isolated the virus and sequenced it in a community, which recently saw a rapid unexplained rise of cases in recent weeks. Dutch authorities are now claiming that they may have got the Omicron strain even before the South African authorities declared it.[3],[4] So are they not penalized for reporting a variant of concern. It is not very clear about the transmissibility and virulence of the virus. Also, it is not certain, whether the newer variant will get any foothold in places that have the Delta variant as the predominant strain. But it has already hit the economy hard with impending travel restrictions and stock markets crashing with concerns over the new variant.[5]

It will take some time, to truly gauge the damage this variant can cause. As seen in the present pandemic, the virus has been evolving to decrease its virulence with mutations, so as to live in sync with humans in the future. This may be a natural progression towards endemicity but cannot be generalized. This evolution can be a threat that can become more lethal due to certain ecological forces leading to contouring the action of the virus.

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There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Covid: South Africa 'punished' for detecting new Omicron variant. Available from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-59442129. [Last accessed on 2021 Nov 31].  Back to cited text no. 1
Harrison V and Agencies. Omicron variant: G7 to hold emergency Covid meeting as Japan closes its borders. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/29/omicron-variant-g7-to-hold-emergency-covid-meeting-as-japan-closes-its-borders. [Last accessed on 2021 Nov 31].  Back to cited text no. 2
Omicron variant: Check origin, scientists opinion, travel curbs. Details here. Available from: https://www.livemint.com/news/world/omicron-variant-check-origin-scientists-opinion-travel-curbs-details-here-11638142729661.html. [Last accessed on 2021 Nov 31].  Back to cited text no. 3
Omicron Covid variant was in Europe before South African scientists detected and flagged it to the world. Available from: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/omicron-variant-covid-in-europe-netherlands-before-alert-raised/. [Last accessed on 2021 Dec 1].  Back to cited text no. 4
What we know and don't know about Omicron variant. Available from: https://m.economictimes.com/news/international/world-news/what-we-know-and-dont-know-about-omicron-variant/articleshow/87989460.cms. [Last accessed on 2021 Nov 31].  Back to cited text no. 5


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